Tuesday, August 31, 2010

eebo, why can't you be more great?

"the booke of hunting" 16th century. bad queen! poor stag! 
so i've just discovered that my favourite resource whilst in university [next to the o.e.d.], eebo, does not allow individual trial or membership.  one must have special permission and/or be a student/faculty member of an academic institution.

eebo [early english books online] contains over 125,000 scanned texts, microfilm, blah blah blah from the years 1475 on to approximately 1700.  it is a goldmine of information.  such a wealth of fiction, manifesto, elegy, poetry, trial, image, woodcut - all in plural!  it's a middle/early english boner, guys.  and now that i've officially graduated, i have been denied access!

i know that google image provides an abundance of woodcuts for my viewing pleasure.  i know that google provides many things.  but eebo is specialized. and i am a snob.

eebo, you're great.  i mean, really, really great.  why can you be more great and let me scour your many lovely pages?

Monday, August 30, 2010

what a woman does is open doors

hey guys, remember when i was talking about bluebeard the other day?  well guess what, little tenders? this morning on my merry way to work i was listening to the sweet, sweet warblings of joanna newsom and her 8 minute opus "go long"... but soft!  these lyrics tell a familiar story. and hark! did i hear mention of a blue beard?   lo and behold! this song is about the sad-eyed murtherer and his ill-fated wife!

i love when these things occur.  it's as though one isn't ready to hear the true meaning of a thing until they have the wherewithal to understand it.

 what a joy!

tale of bluebeard illustrated by walter crane, 1875

Friday, August 27, 2010

great rogue apples

talk about joy:

earlier this evening, the rocket and i picked up a giant zucchini and some leeks on the roadside for only two dollars!  then one of my dearest and i borrowed a ladder and a poking/bashing stick from generation x video and picked apples from the rogue apple tree across the street.  seriously, there is a rogue apple tree uptown waterloo.

so, roasted leeks with parmesan cheese and a rogue apple crumble later - i'm so filled with joy.  it is a sad and beautiful world!

also, has anybody seen the results of serious yarn bombing uptown waterloo?

p.s. rumour has it there's a rogue pear tree behind ethel's.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

great blue beard!

hey guys.  boy o boy, do i have  so many wonderful links for you today!  these links give you far more information about the topics/people/events i'm just glossing over. sometimes it's a wikipedia page, sometimes it's a video, sometimes an image. embrace the autodidact in you! learn!  click the links!

i know i've only been blogging about great movies lately - but film is important!  it is one of many beautiful roads we artists travel toward self expression.

catherine breillat is one such artist.  hailing from the capital of sexual self expression [france], this limit-pushing director/writer/professor/novelist is known for her controversial films about sexuality, gender and youth.  have you seen À ma sœur!/fat girl [2001] or une vieille maîtresse/the last mistress [2007]?  [as an aside, asia argento is such a monstrous babe in this film].

so rocket and i watched her most recent film, barbe bleue/bluebeard [2009].  what a beauty this is!  it's based on the "children's story" by famous 17th-century baby-scarer charles perrault. the story/myth itself originates in the late medieval period. more specifically, in the sexy-ugly 15th century - before things got really beautiful again. i personally love the 15th century. it's a really great time for art and the burgeoning english language, post geoffrey chaucer. [that is a link to chaucer's troilus and criseyde.  you can read it in full and for free! you should also read the book of the duchess].

okay.  so historians believe that the real bluebeard was 15th century aristocrat and prolific murtherer of youth, gilles de rais.  brother even fought alongside my fellow lez/drag virtuoso joan of arc!  but he killed so many little chitlins after! i think he was set up by the church because he spent all of his money on a big dramatic play about his life and not on them. he did end up confessing of his own volition. but, in the interest of being sleazy, let's just say he was set up by the church. 

another theory is that bluebeard was conomor the cursed, a 6th century britton king who wasn't quite as interesting as bluebeard or gilles de rais. so blah blah blah. although it should be mentioned that there are some who believe conomor may actually be king mark of tristan and iseult fame.

i choose to believe that bluebeard was this guy! that guy is dominique thomas; the man who played bluebeard in breillat's film.  such a gentle giant, with the saddest eyes. and the little beauty who played marie-catherine?  lola créton. this 17-year-old french nymphet has earned herself a lifetime crush [possible stalker] in your dear narrator.

want to know about bluebeard now?  he's basically a less exonerated version of henry viii in that he murthered[!] his wives by his own hand, kept their dead and drippy bodies in a dingy basement [alliteration city!] and never referred to his desire to divorce/murder/get a new wife as his "great matter". henry was lame.

but for some reason, breillat makes us see bluebeard as endearing, insecure, sad, even loveable. how does one do that? watch. this. film.  

on a side note, there are two little girls who, in a subplot, are reading perrault's story of bluebeard.  they are adorable and perfect.  

last thing - check out 19th century illustrator walter crane's visual interpretation of bluebeard.  so beautiful.  and note the tapestry of the temptation of eve behind the curious petite wife with the little golden key. so great.

that's all i've got for you today, friends.  nice windfall of information, eh?  great.

Monday, August 23, 2010

great snakes.

in 1967,  at the adorable and tender age of 24, fresh-faced documentarian peter adair ventured into the deep south.  really deep, folks.  scrabble creek, west virginia deep.  the documentary is called holy ghost people and should be cherished as an extremely valuable piece of americana.

with only a brief introduction, adair recorded the full length of a meeting for pentecostal, snake-handling, tongue-talking holy rollers.  you've never seen anything like it.  one of the greatest documentaries ever made and true to it's definition - this film merely presents the holy ghosters in their element.  this film is free of judgment.

you will fall in love with the tongue-talking pentecosts.  i most certainly did. and you can watch/download it for absolutely no pennies at all, right here.  i love free shit on the internet, don't you?

okay guys, that's all i've got.  but it's pretty great, right?

Thursday, August 19, 2010


you guys know that the text in black contains links to various great videos and factoids, right?

okay, great.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

great autodidactism.

jean-pierre jeunet's "the city of lost children"
i'm really into this great word/concept this week:  autodidactism.  it means to be self-taught or to engage in self-directed learning.  there are some great autodidacts in history; such as the great artist and polymath leonardo da vinci [i just love that last supper], brilliant writer josé saramago [blindness], woman-fearing/prolific director woody allen, french philosopher rene descartes, bountiful photographer/artist the rocket... the list goes on.

i also wanted to point out that i think it's really important to continue self-education throughout one's life.  what does that mean?  read! listen! observe! engage! interact with your world. there is much still to learn!

so i just wanted to draw your attention to a really fantastic autodidact; monsieur jean-pierre jeunet.  jeunet is the writer and director of such marvelous visual miasma's such as delicatessen, the city of lost children and amelie.  not only are these films simply breathtaking to watch; they also instill in the heart a sense of belonging.  a sense of magic in the world.  that the universe really does conspire to give you want you want.  that there is joy in the world!  and that there is no greater joy in the world than laughter, love, beauty, beauty, beauty and love!

Friday, August 13, 2010

what a great canter.

hey guys, here's a really great video of pictures of icelandic horses performing the unique tölt trot/canter [with a really kitschy scandinavian tune].
and here's some really interesting stuff about icelandic horses from wikipedia: 
  • icelandic horses are long-lived and hardy; in their native country they have few diseases.
  • the icelandic horse displays two gaits in addition to the typical gaits of walk, trot, and canter/gallop, the breed is noted for its ability to perform two additional gaits. the first additional gait is a four-beat lateral ambling gait known as the tölt [as is seen in the above video]. this is known for its explosive acceleration and speed; it is also comfortable and ground-covering.
  • developed from ponies taken to iceland by scandinavian settlers in the 9th and 10th centuries, the breed is mentioned in literature and historical records throughout icelandic history; the first reference to a named horse appears in the 12th century. horses were venerated in norse mythology, a custom brought to Iceland by the country's earliest settlers.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

great town

so yesterday was a bit of a dark day for your dearest narrator. hard to explain, but certainly not without validity.  the weight of a failing father is a hard thing to face some days. and in the face of the unbearable unknown, nothing cures a sore heart like the love of the best kind of woman.  there is a light. and what a light.

all that aside; here is a shabby description of my hometown.


nobody wants to stay here.
but everybody comes home.

things keep coming to my hometown.

there used to be a parking lot here.  a wave of old, cracked concrete.  we used to call it "the fun".
where the fun used to be, there is now a flat, even, fresh layer of concrete.  it's known as the square.
an auditorium, with cemented slab steps that stand in for seats. bands play. there are tables with coney island umbrellas and nobody from coney island sits under them. sometimes there is a live outdoor play - meant entirely for children and young people intent to impress adults:
i am interested.
i am interesting.

in my hometown; we have two universities, one college, a physics think tank, an institute for international affairs, a centre for international governance innovation, two parks flanked by water and full time swans, one of the largest software companies in the world, a handful of warehouses-turned-condos, a cancer research hospital and a cement square formally known by myself as "the fun".  

on thursdays, there is a market. local fruit and vegetables can be bought, only steps away from the local grocery store.  we here, in my hometown, pride ourselves in our ability to buy local once a week. we have fabric reusable bags and we ride bicycles with helmets.  

we're so country; in the city, we're still country.
but we dress city.
the old barrel yard pyramid, before the tear-down

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

great break up

body language is everything
holy hangover guys!  i got an early start to the party last night and drank nearly an entire bottle of chardonnay before trotting off with pals to see juliette lewis at the starlight. i like to do it with class, friends. what's that you say? the juliette lewis from such classics as hysterical blindness and natural born killers?  yes that's right. my resulting hangover and 6am alarm clock really killed the party vibe, but the show was excellent.

as an aside - i work across the street from farm country. at this early hour, the fog is so thick i can't even see the farm.  i want to live in that fog. live. in. it.

so it pains my little loving heart to hear of the break-up of joanna newsom and andy samberg.  i found out via text from the rocket.  it read: joanna and andy broke up! can't wait for the next album! [i love that gal]

seriously though, guys. i thought those two were for realsies. i suppose joanna's enamoured, 3-disc love letter to andy just wasn't as prolific to him as his own personal poetic prowess [holy alliteration again!].

let's consider a head-to-head of the poet/singer hybrid mutation that is joanna newsom and the comedic genius of andy samberg.


andy: comedian, rapper, mini-movie virtuoso.

joanna: prophet.


joanna: "and in a moment of almost unbearable vision / doubled over with the hunger of lions/ hold me close, cooed the dove / who was stuffed now with sawdust and diamonds"

andy: "i'm on a boat, i'm on a boat / take a good hard look at the motherfucking boat"

you see where i'm heading with this.

listen guys, i love andy [not his hair], but that relationship - as much as i thought it was excellent - had some serious obstacles.  consider that andy must have had a fairly literate and loving side in order to win the heart of tender jojo.  and joanna must have had the sense of humour to nab andy.  but then i thought, check out joanna newsom's ass!  and then i thought, boys will be boys.  and then i thought, check out joanna newsom's ass again! clearly the answer to many prayers among us. [it really should be noted - purely for biblical purposes - that the rocket's ass is the amen to all asses]  

i suppose it comes down to one thing/opinion:  i don't think andy was able to handle the book of newsom.  that book is heavy.

so, i will quietly await joanna's break-up album with my hands clasped to my tender loving breast.  the gospel of joanna will resound in our hearts once again. and andy can keep making these gems.

well folks, that's all i've got.  hangover nausea washes in like a rogue wave.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

animals are superior beings

in case you needed more proof that animals are more spectacular, soulful creatures than we could ever aspire to be - i offer you baby moose in sprinkler.



elk plays in puddle!
whitetail fawns play in mud puddle!
picnic the deer plays in water!

we are so, so insignificant.


although, it should be reiterated that nothing beats christian the lion for me these days.

john donne concurs, in holy sonnet xii:
Why are wee by all creatures waited on?
Why doe the prodigall elements supply
Life and food to mee, being more pure than I,
Simple, and further from corruption?
Why brook'st thou, ignorant horse, subjection?
Why dost thou bull, and bore so seelily
Dissemble weaknesse, and by one mans stroke die,
Whose whole kinde, you might swallow and feed upon?
Weaker I am, woe is mee, and worse than you,
You have not sinn'd, nor need be timorous.
But wonder at a greater wonder, for to us
Created nature doth these things subdue,
But their Creator, whom sin, nor nature tyed,
For us, his Creatures, and his foes, hath dyed.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

unlikely playlists are great

i think it's pretty great that my brother's ipod has hoobastank and o-zone [the guys who do that terrible numa numa song] on his "alternative" playlist.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

your soft, small hand. your soft, warm neck.

friends, i urge you to read yann martel's beatrice and virgil.  it will break your heart open, tear out all that is human in it, and replace it with the blood and bones of every animal in this kingdom of earth.

read this novel.
endure the agony of reading such a novel.
but read it.
it is a masterpiece.

but also, read george saunder's fox 8 if you can get your hands on a copy of issue #33 of McSweeney's.  if you can't, email this guy [me] and i'll send you a scan of it.